By Adebayo Waheed, Ibadan
Former governor of Oyo State and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Rashidi Ladoja, has said the exit of many chieftains of opposition political parties to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state cannot stop the PDP from winning the 2019 governorship election in Oyo State.
He said that the defection of an ex-governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, former Senate Leader, Teslim Folarin, former deputy governor Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja and a former SSG of the state will not stop the party’s victory in subsequent elections in the state.
It would be recalled that the former PDP political stalwarts, among others, had officially decamped to APC in a ceremony at Mapo hall, Ibadan at the weekend.
Commenting on the development, Ladoja who fielded questions from journalists at his Ondo Street residence, Bodija, Ibadan after hosting a former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu said those that decamped were not up to give five per cent of voting population.
“Do you know that all the politicians are not more than five per cent of the voting population? So, one person moving from one party to another does not matter, it is the population that matters. The population is still solidly behind us.
“Akala has been in APC since two years ago after he left Labour Party (LP), immediately after 2015 elections. I think it’s just now they have time to celebrate him because election is coming.
“Teslim is there. I don’t know how many people he has been able to take along, though he contested in the last election. He is welcomed to contest in another election again. Dele Adigun, is a good technocrat and I hope he will play the game according to the rules by being fair to everybody.
“I’m not contesting, I’m already an elder statesman, but I have flair for the PDP,” he said.
Ladoja also described as untrue the allegation that since the structures of PDP in the state have been handed over to him, he had sidelined those that were strong supporters of the late strongman of Ibadan politics, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, based on the roles they allegedly played in his 11 months impeachment as governor of the state between 2003 and 2007.
“All those claims are not true. The PDP congresses were transparent, “he stated.
Ladoja further stated that PDP in the state would participate in the local government election which the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, said would hold early next year, adding that the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) must give a 90-day notice before the conduct of the poll.